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MONTESSORI PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION


The Montessori philosophy respects and embraces the natural world and the panorama of cultures, knowledge and arts. It respects both the individual and the community in its efforts to provide a well-rounded education with the following emphases:


Intellectual: Hands-on material and teacher-facilitated learning creates a stimulating curriculum, responsive to individual learning styles and developmental stages (“sensitive periods”), that treats the child as both teacher and student, that fosters order, independence and creativity in thinking, and that provides a strong basis for scholastic ability and for optimizing intellectual potential.


Social: Adults and children in multi-age classrooms act as models for and encourage appropriate choices and behaviors that honor the feelings of self and others. This demonstrates mutual respect for members of the classroom, school and global communities. It also fosters qualities of leadership and group contribution.


Physical: Participation in play, fine and gross motor activities, fitness and performing arts reinforce the mind-body connection and enhance agility.


Creative: Exposure to visual and performing arts curricula strengthens, broadens, and enhances intellectual and cultural development.


Moral: Opportunities exist to learn and use ethical judgment and civility within the family-like order of the classroom, so that universal values such as respect, responsibility, honesty, self-discipline, compassion, perseverance, and loyalty are supported.


The Montessori School of Maui is dedicated to the Montessori philosophy and method of education. With the close guidance of Montessori trained teachers, a child attending our school will be exposed to this method which promotes the development of the whole child, facilitates the growth of inner discipline and cultivates the child’s own natural joy in learning.


The Montessori Method was developed in the early part of the 20th century by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator. From observations made while working with young children, she evolved a new method that revolutionized teaching concepts and brought to the classroom a sense of joy and accomplishment. The aim is to enable the child to function in the environment independently. The underlying principle is one of freedom within established limits, which permits the child to gain self-esteem and self-reliance.


Montessori takes advantage of each child’s unique sensitivities and offers exercises in language development, sensorimotor development, reading, mathematics, physical and natural sciences, geography and cultural studies, music, art, drama and body movement. These are augmented by activities in practical life which help the child develop large and small muscle coordination, cooking, gardening, woodworking and creative writing. The materials and activities are designed to help the child to progress at their own rate. The child is able to direct him/herself and to learn in a trusting atmosphere with the close guidance of the teachers. In the right environment, education comes through spontaneous exercise of the child’s own faculties. Education, according to Maria Montessori, is a preparation for life, not merely a search for intellectual skills.